Oxford Catalysts is collaborating with the Thai state-controlled oil and gas company, PTT Public Company Limited (PTT), on the evaluation and commercialization of a new chemisorption catalyst technology for upgrading natural gas. Since the importance of compressed natural gas (CNG) as a transportation fuel is rapidly rising in Thailand and other parts of Asia, this technology will help support the region’s drive towards cleaner, sulfur-free fuels.
Before being used as a transportation fuel, raw natural gas needs to be upgraded by removing impurities, such as mercury and sulfur. This is typically carried out via chemisorption. The efficiency of the chemisorption process depends heavily on the composition of the catalyst, the chemisorbent.
Lab-scale tests show the new proprietary chemisorbent from Oxford Catalysts has a greater capacity than existing chemisorbents. The new catalyst has been tested against competitive materials in the laboratory, and will now be tested in two commercial side-stream units with results expected by the year end. If the testing is successful, the next stage will consist of an industrial scale field trial by PTT.
The project will ultimately lead to the supply of materials for future commercial deployment, through a third party contract manufacturer, with expected revenue to Oxford Catalysts in the form of license and royalty payments. Oxford Catalysts has identified, and is already working with, a major catalyst company as their partner for scaling-up manufacture of the materials for commercial deployment.
The materials being tested could help produce cleaner fuels, not only in the area of compressed natural gas, but also through the conditioning of coal gas—an essential step in the production of sulfur-free diesel using next generation coal-to-liquids Fischer-Tropsch technology.—Roy Lipski, Chief Executive of Oxford Catalysts